How to get research findings into practice in the changing

Fuse PhD Studentship
Proposed PhD project title: How to get research findings into practice in the changing landscape
of public health
Fuse research programme: Translational Research/Early Life and Adolescence
Lead Supervisor:
Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Professor of Alcohol and Public
Health Research, Health and Social Care Institute, School of Health &
Social Care, Teesside University
Professor Rosemary Rushmer, Professor in Knowledge Exchange &
Public Health, Health and Social Care Institute, School of Health &
Social Care, Teesside University, Dr Tracy Finch, Senior Lecturer in
Psychology of Health Care, Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle
University. Mr Les Tate, North Tyneside Council
Training Location:
Health and Social Care Institute, School of Health & Social Care,
Teesside University,
3 years full time, start before 1st October 2015.
Estimated at £13,863 per annum in 2014/2015
Scientific Rationale for proposed doctoral project
It is now well known that young people are much more vulnerable than adults to the adverse
effects of alcohol due to a range of physical and psycho-social factors which often interact [1].
These adverse effects include: physiological factors resulting from a typically lower body mass and
less efficient metabolism of alcohol [2]; neurological factors due to changes that occur in the
developing adolescent brain after alcohol exposure [3]; cognitive factors due to psychoactive
effects of alcohol which impair judgement and increase the likelihood of accidents and trauma [4];
and social factors which arise from a typically high-intensity drinking pattern which leads to
intoxication and risk-taking behaviour [5]. Due to this extensive array of damage, the prevention of
excessive drinking in young people is a global public health priority [6].
Secondary prevention activities i.e. targeting interventions at young people who are already
drinking alcohol is likely to be a more effective strategy, since the intervention will have more
salience for the individuals receiving them. Using an ongoing research study as a case study this
PhD will explore how to get effective research findings into practice in the changing public health
landscape and the school environment. The student would explore with school practitioners/
students/parents/policy makers and public health colleagues how to embed an alcohol
intervention into routine school practice. Theories of implementation including Normalisation
Process Theory will be explored and an implementation model to be used in practice will be
developed and trialed.
Newbury-Birch D, Gilvarry E, McArdle P, Stewart S, Walker J, Lock C, Avery L, Jackson K,
Beyer F, Brown N et al: The impact of alcohol consumption on young people: A review of reviews.
In. London: Department of Children Schools and Families; 2009.
Zucker R, Donovan J, Masten A, Mattison M, Moss H: Developmental perspective on
underage alcohol use. Developmental processes and mechanisms 0-10. Alcohol Research and
Health 2009, 32(1):16-29.
Squeglia LM, Pulido C, Wetherill RR, Jacobus J, Brown GG, Tapert SF: Brain response to
working memory over three years of adolescence: Influence of initiating heavy drinking. Journal of
Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 2012, 73(5):749.
Rodham K, Brewer H, Mistral W, Stallard P: Adolescents’ perception of risk and challenge: A
qualitative study. Journal of Adolescence 2006, 29:261-272.
MacArthur G, Smith M, Melotti R, Heron J, Macleod J, Hickman M, Kipping R, Campbell R,
Lewis G: Patterns of alcohol use and multiple risk behaviour by gender during early and late
adolescence: the ALSPAC cohort. Journal of Public Health 2012, 34(Suppl 1):i20-i30.
Jernigan D: Global Status Report: Alcohol and Young People. In., vol. WHO/MSD/MSB/01.1.
Geneva: World Health Organisation; 2001.
Person specification
Candidates for studentships must hold qualifications at the level of, or equivalent to, a good
honours degree from a UK academic institution (this should be a first or upper second class
honours degree) and an MSc in a closely related subject. The MSc should be awarded at the merit
level or above.
To be eligible for a full MRC studentship (stipend and university fees), candidates must be UK
How to apply
Closing date for applications is 12 noon Thursday 19th February and interviews will be held on
Thursday 26th February. The successful applicant will be expected to start on 5th May.
You can apply online for this opportunity. Please use the PhD full-time application form, and
state the studentship title and Director of Studies in the personal statement section.
Further information
Please contact Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch ([email protected]) for further details
of the studentship or an informal discussion.